HDL important target in diabetes: study

HDL cholesterol could be a new, additional target to reduce cardiovascular risk in patients with type 2 diabetes, researchers suggest after a large observational study. 

In a cohort of some 30,000 US patients, many of whom were taking statins to reduce LDL cholesterol as well as other medications, the researchers found a significant association between changes in HDL status and hospitalisation for cardiovascular disease (CVD). 

Over eight years of follow-up, some 3000 patients experienced a CVD event.

The researchers calculated an 11% increased risk of hospitalisation among those whose HDL cholesterol fell by at least 6.5 mg/dl, (0.17 mmol/L) “suggesting the prevention of an HDL cholesterol decrease might be at least as important as increasing the HDL cholesterol level”.

Each 5 mg/dl (0.13 mmol/L)increase in HDL cholesterol was associated with a 4% reduction in the risk of CVD hospitalisation, they found.